As I study Church History I attempt to boil down enormous bunches of information into bitesized pieces. There is SO much information on almost an infinite number of people and events that there seems to be just TOO MUCH for the average person to keep in their minds. So as I teach I try to summarize the important things concerning people into small bites. My goal is to pull out 3 to 5 significant facts (other than of course their particular time period and geographical location) so that when I come across that person in discussions or readings my mind can recall some of these facts. I understand that this is not the entirety of their importance (some would say these things may possibly be irrelevant to the big picture), but to me, if I can recall a few select bits of info about someone then I have the capabilities to learn about more people.
I see my options as: 1. learning a lot about few people, but being someone ignorant of the rest, or 2. learning a little about more people, therefore having a more well rounded understanding of Church History in its context.
So here are just a few ‘bumper stickers’ from different people in different eras:
Bumper Stickers from the Protestant Reformation –
- Sola Scriptura – this means the authority for the Christian should be the Bible and only the Bible (this idea protests against the Roman Catholic Church having the Bible and tradition, and the Pope as their authority).
- Sol Fide – this means Faith Alone: it is from the conviction that salvation is for the person who believes in the salvific work of Jesus only, and not based on deeds or acts that one does.
- Sola Gratia – this means Grace Alone: it is the clarification that salvation comes from God based on GRACE ONLY, and not on anything the person does, has, or is.
- Soli Deo Gloria – this means ‘to God alone be the glory’: God exclusively should be the person to be praised, no other entity is worthy of as much honor and glory.
There are many other ‘bumper stickers’ that can be seen in the history of Christianity. In the future I will be mentioning others, just to have a summary (although truly inadequate) of some of the people, places, events, and movements in Church History.